IBJOpinion

DINING: Currying flavor

Curries & Chutneys serves Indian favorites

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
Dining - A&E

Fans of Indian food buffets (and I count myself among them) will be comfortable at Curries & Chutneys (8840 N. Michigan Road, 559-4221).

Not that C&C is a buffet—it isn’t. But Indian buffet enthusiasts are used to relatively inexpensive platters, to rich mixes of colorful—if not always adventurous—offerings and to one entrée spilling over into another on the plate. And they are used to not having to remember or pronounce the names of the dishes.
 

ae-diningapb-currieschutney03-15col.jpg The spice is right at Curries & Chutneys, where two-entree platters encourage sampling. The Samosa is a highlight. (IBJ Photos/ Aaron P. Bernstein)
ae-diningapb-currieschutney02-15col.jpg

Curries & Chutneys takes this eye-and-buy process and fuses it with the move-on-down-the-line, no-tip design of sandwich and burrito shops. If you can rationalize stopping into Panda Express for Chinese food, you should be happy getting a far more satisfying Indian fix here.

A single entrée platter runs $4.99; two choices raises the tab to $6.99. The curry choices fluctuate depending on the availability of ingredients, so what you liked last week might not be back today. Patrons are encouraged to sample—although those behind you in line may grunt if you take too long.

My visits found high spice content almost across the board, with the Chili Chicken and Pepper Chicken particularly debilitating. But in a good way. Three vegetarian options are always in the mix. I tried the hearty Chole Masala, thick with softened chick peas.

Your plate comes with one of a pair of rice options (on our visits, the choices were steamed or mint), a folded piece of flatbread, and a pair of chutneys. The latter include eggplant, ginger, tomato, green chili, meetha (a sweet chutney from dates, cumin and tamarind), and mango pickle. Have a water glass handy. You’ve been warned.

The highlight, though, proved to be an add-on. A Samosa ($1) is a fried dumpling whose thick, crunchy shell contains flavorful spiced potato, onion and other ingredients. Even if you are getting takeout, I suggest having one of these street-food classics hot before you leave the restaurant.


ae-diningapb-currieschutney01-15col.jpg Snack bags are a grab-and-go option at Curries & Chutneys. (IBJ Photo/ Aaron P. Bernstein)

While the counter server was friendly and accommodating, her knowledge of the food was limited. When asked by a newcomer what causes the redness in Tandoori Chicken (another $1 appetizer choice), she was stumped. (Answer: cayenne pepper or red chili powder). She was also mixed up about northern and southern India when explaining the absence of naan, the staple puffy bread so easy to overdo at other Indian restaurants.

But Curries & Chutneys does have something others don’t: Its own line of crunchy, bagged snacks—C&C Bites ($2.99/bag). As I write this, I’m alternating between the Ribbon Pakota (strips cooked with flours, sesame seeds, ajwain seeds and curry leaves … and butter) and the Boondi Mixture, a trail mix perfect for your next hike from Darjeeling to Kurseong.•

—Lou Harry

__________

Second in a month-long series of reviews of full-flavored restaurants.
 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. The east side does have potential...and I have always thought Washington Scare should become an outlet mall. Anyone remember how popular Eastgate was? Well, Indy has no outlet malls, we have to go to Edinburgh for the deep discounts and I don't understand why. Jim is right. We need a few good eastsiders interested in actually making some noise and trying to change the commerce, culture and stereotypes of the East side. Irvington is very progressive and making great strides, why can't the far east side ride on their coat tails to make some changes?

  2. Boston.com has an article from 2010 where they talk about how Interactions moved to Massachusetts in the year prior. http://www.boston.com/business/technology/innoeco/2010/07/interactions_banks_63_million.html The article includes a link back to that Inside Indiana Business press release I linked to earlier, snarkily noting, "Guess this 2006 plan to create 200-plus new jobs in Indiana didn't exactly work out."

  3. I live on the east side and I have read all your comments. a local paper just did an article on Washington square mall with just as many comments and concerns. I am not sure if they are still around, but there was an east side coalition with good intentions to do good things on the east side. And there is a facebook post that called my eastside indy with many old members of the eastside who voice concerns about the east side of the city. We need to come together and not just complain and moan, but come up with actual concrete solutions, because what Dal said is very very true- the eastside could be a goldmine in the right hands. But if anyone is going damn, and change things, it is us eastside residents

  4. Please go back re-read your economics text book and the fine print on the February 2014 CBO report. A minimum wage increase has never resulted in a net job loss...

  5. The GOP at the Statehouse is more interested in PR to keep their majority, than using it to get anything good actually done. The State continues its downward spiral.

ADVERTISEMENT